Scholar Transport Suspension a monumental crisis

Anthony Benadie MPL

DA Provincial Leader and Spokesperson on Education

Media reports today that scholar transport throughout Mpumalanga has been suspended by the Mpumalanga Scholar Transport Association, has plunged thousands of learners into an academic crisis of monumental proportions.

With only days before learners are to sit with exams, the association has suspended its scholar transport service due to a massive R400 million owed to it by the Mpumalanga Education department. The DA is disturbed at reports that the Department of Education owes the association an alleged R400 million, which has been escalating since 2006.

According to reports all payments have been withheld pending a report from the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) which was appointed in 2012 to investigate corruption within the Department of Education.  This information points directly to the ANC governments’ inability to deal swiftly with investigations into instances of corruption.

No learner should be disadvantaged due to the department’s inability to manage their affairs, especially at this critical time of the academic year.

The DA calls on the Department of Education as well as the Provincial Treasury to intervene immediately and to settle any monies owed to the scholar transport association.  School children cannot and must not miss a single day of learning in the run up to the Grade 12 examinations, and all busses must get back on the road as a matter of urgency.